I’m still in the midst of a declutter as a result of clearing out the knee wall before replacing our roof. I thought I’d blogged about this small bottle of Deanston Single Malt Whisky before but nothings coming up in the search for “Deanston”. I probably wrote about it on another blog.
When we were in Scotland we visited the home in which my ancestors lived before immigrating to the United States. We’d not called ahead — mostly because we didn’t have the telephone number, but the current owners were welcoming and told us to make ourselves at home and look around the property. They also invited us in the kitchen and when we introduced ourselves the husband presented my husband with this (then unopened and full) bottle of Deanston Single Malt Whisky because my husband’s name is Dean.
Dean kept it in his toiletries bag for years, but finally drank it at some point. After keeping the empty bottle for a while he tossed it in the recycle bin but I fished it out because it was one of our only souvenirs of our trip to the UK in 2002.
I think I am ready to give it up. Or at least move it from my box of memories to one of our China cabinets.
I’ve known my maternal grandfather’s lineage from his mother’s side for a very long time. It made such a huge impact on me that I vowed to be married in the church that our ancestors built near Elgin and loved to tell people that the creek that flows on the West side of Elgin is named after the Tyler branch of my family.
I knew very little about my grandfather’s father, however except that he divorced his wife and was out of the picture early in my grandfather’s life. Apparently, he knew his mother’s second husband, Frank Harris, as a father.
Yesterday, however, I discovered more than I’d ever hoped about that great grandfather’s family.
His name was Albert Green and was the son of Swedish immigrants. His father, Emil Green married Amanda Johnson on March 19, 1887, in Cook County, Illinois. His occupation is listed as a carpenter. He was 22 and she was 24. Emil and Amanda had two other children besides Albert. Their first child, a girl named Hildur was born on November 19, 1888, and they lived at 6005 May Street in the Englewood part of Chicago when she was born, according to her birth certificate. Albert was their second child, born on February 25, 1891. Their third child, Harold, was born April 2, 1898. Emil died of Typhoid fever on June 17, 1899, and is buried at Oakwood Cemetery. Amanda died in Elgin on August 8, 1934, and is buried at Bluff City Cemetery in Elgin.
Albert married Jessie May Tyler on May 5th, 1909. My grandfather, Walter Tyler Green was born January 31, 1910. And according to the census of 1910, both Albert and Jessie lived with her parents (and brother and his wife) at the house on Highland Avenue (615 West) in Elgin.
Albert died on October 19, 1921, in South Elgin, Illinois. The family story is that he was struck by a train on the railroad tracks in South Elgin, but the death record does not tell the cause of death. He was a roofer. He is buried at Bluff City Cemetery.
Jessie married Frank Harris, a German who arrived in the United States in 1900, by the 1930 census because he is listed as being the son-in-law of Jessie’s father with whom he, Jessie and my grandfather lived.
I cannot find a record of Jessie’s or Frank’s death, but according to John McCornack, Jessie died in 1949 and Frank died in 1958. According to family legend Jessie was struck by a car while crossing the street and Frank hanged himself out of grief over Jessie’s death. However, 9 years is a long time to grieve and then commit suicide. Something doesn’t seem right.